Aims of Department
The English curriculum at FBS is designed to expose boys to influential works of literature, develop within them a lifelong love of reading for pleasure, and develop their communication skills, be it orally, creatively or functionally.
The curriculum is carefully structured to ensure that boys develop the reading and writing skills needed for success in examinations, while at the same time allowing them opportunities to pursue their own interests.
Each unit therefore has a thematic title, and the texts studied within that topic complement each other in terms of enabling the boys to see how different writers have explored the same themes across different genres and time periods. Built into these units are reading projects, creative writing competitions, and enterprise projects that allow all boys to both follow their individual passions and develop skills that will help them across the curriculum.
Our approach to lessons
English lessons are geared towards boys, using texts, resources and activities that we know will engage their interest. Working with predominantly mixed ability classes, lessons are differentiated to ensure that all boys can access classic works of literature while being suitably challenged or supported depending on their individual needs.
Boys are regularly encouraged to engage with the feedback that they have been given, either by their teachers or peers, to re-draft and improve the quality of their written work.
- Martin Jeeps, Head of English - email@example.com
- Alex Grossman, Assistant Head of English (responsible for KS3)
- Mella Monti, Assistant Head of English (responsible for literacy across the curriculum)
- Morgan Browne, Head of Dickens House
- Ruth Adams, SENCO
Year 7 curriculum
Unit 1: Search for a Hero
- Extracts from myths and legends
- The opening chapters of ‘Shadow of the Minotaur’ (finished for reading project)
- ‘Epic’ narrative writing
- ‘Macbeth’ and the tragic hero
- Myths and Legends video game enterprise project
Unit 2: Writing the City
- A selection of poetry based on London through the ages
- Poetry writing based on London for the Eisteddfod
- ‘Oliver Twist’
- Descriptive writing based on a visit to a London location
How the boys will be assessed in Year 7
Boys are assessed at the end of each Year 7 unit with an English Language Paper 1 style exam (fiction reading and creative writing) and an English Literature exam based on the texts they have studied.
Year 8 curriculum
Unit 1: Into the Unknown
- Extracts from travel writing
- Writing a travel blog
- ‘Lord of the Flies’
Unit 2: The Language of Prejudice
- A selection of poetry based on prejudice or discrimination
- Poetry writing based on a social issue for the Eisteddfod
- ‘The Merchant of Venice’
- Speech writing
- Enterprise project based on ‘Face’ by Benjamin Zephaniah
How the boys will be assessed in Year 8
Boys are assessed at the end of each Year 8 unit with an English Language Paper 2 style exam (non-fiction reading and transactional writing) and an English Literature exam based on the texts they have studied.
Year 9 curriculum
Unit 1: The Gothic Genre
- Extracts from Gothic prose and poetry
- Descriptive writing
- ‘Frankenstein’ (extract based)
Unit 2: Why is Shakespeare relevant?
- Extracts from a range of Shakespeare’s work relating to gender, race, mortality, sexuality…
- Enterprise presentation project
- Performing monologues and duologues
Unit 3: Into the Valley of Death
- 7 war poems taken from the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster of the AQA GCSE poetry anthology
- Non-fiction texts relating to conflict
- Writing for different purposes and audiences
How the boys will be assessed in Year 9
At the end of Unit 1, the boys sit their final KS3 exams which are an English Language Paper 1 style exam (fiction reading and writing) and an English Literature exam (‘Frankenstein’ and unseen poetry)
At the end of Unit 2, the boys are assessed on their presentations using GCSE spoken endorsement criteria.
At the end of Unit 3, the boys sit their first GCSE style exams, which are a hybrid of English Language and English Literature past papers.
Year 10 curriculum
Unit 1: Members of One Body
- ‘An Inspector Calls’
- Fiction reading skills
Unit 2: The Spirit of Christmas
- ‘A Christmas Carol’
- Non-fiction writing skills (articles, letters, speeches)
Unit 3: We are Prepared
- 8 poems relating to ‘power and conflict’ from the AQA GCSE poetry anthology
- Creative Writing
How the boys will be assessed in Year 10
At the end of each unit, boys are assessed through exams in English Language and English Literature based on the parts of the course that have already been covered.
Year 11 curriculum
Unit 1: Death-mark’d Love
- ‘Romeo and Juliet’
- Non-fiction reading
Unit 2: Revision
- A revision carousel covering all aspects of the GCSE course
- The GCSE spoken endorsement
How the boys will be assessed in Year 11
Boys sit full mocks in all English Language and English Literature papers in January.
At FBS, we follow the AQA GCSE courses in English Language and English Literature. An overview of the course requirements and assessment methods can be found through the following links:
What is it like to study English at FBS?
World Book Day: Battle of the Books (Amari Barnes)
There I was gripping my book for dear life as it was my life-support, holding a figurative sword in my notes and with every pair of eyes on me.
I entered the school library with high hopes and one goal. Success. I saw the ‘Battle of the Books’ decorations and knew what to do, and with that Mr. Jeeps and Ms Monti called out me and Nour, also a Liddell 4 member, and my heart-beat grew more audible by the second. I looked him in the eyes and sparked my first witty lines to heat up the audience. “Ladies, First!” Nour takes this and throws down all of his points. After he does, I accept this and use my points and form a line that went “Only 10 million sales, I have 100 million: get on my level” With the crowd’s roaring agreement I took down my fellow form member. I watched the remaining contests with intense eyes. ‘Traveling alone’ came up against ‘the bible’, and the formidable Josh Shonubi joined the fight. My confidence raised, I stepped into the ring once again to finish the fight.
The final match. A battle royale to finish the war. I start off with my quips” Traveling alone, that speaks for itself” “Welcome to nowhere, psh this book is going nowhere” and Dawud and Seb go into a furious descent finishing with me on top and the crowd cheering. Thanks to me, ‘The Maze Runner’ is the FBS Battle of the Books champion 2018.